Google Flights now pushes flexible destination search


In February, Google Flights updated the default interface for visitors to its various main windows (,, etc.) for select countries worldwide.

Travelers can say goodbye to needing exact dates or destination names to do research.

Underneath the traditional flight search box is now a box where a user can click a few filters to receive relevant, photo-heavy suggestions.

A user could tap particular dates in intuitive, generic formats — such as “last weekend in March”, “July”, or “one week” — rather than have to commit to specific calendar dates.

Users can also pick from a dozen interests, such as “adventure travel,” “culture”, or “ecotourism.”

In our recent test, pcking “shopping” brought Dubai up to the top of recommendations.

Picking “honeymoon” as an additional filter returned the resorts near Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt at the top. Clicking “islands” fetched a recommendation for Funchal, Portugal, among other spots.

Google Flights search

A user can choose to see trip recommendations only for particular continents, too.

For each recommendation, Google offers “live” airplane ticket prices, based on travel from your nearest major airport, and a range of hotel options.

Google offers “live” airplane ticket prices

For years, online travel sites have focused on the transaction end of the trip-buying process. But there’s always been interest in helping travelers pick places to go, too. Six years ago, metasearch company Kayak opened its Explore feature, which let users see where they might fly to for a particular budget.

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